|By Ibrahim Haddad||
|September 27, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
The battle between IT professionals and those who use the Internet for destructive purposes is raging - and there's no end in sight. Reports of computer crime and incidents from the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University more than double each year and are expected to rise. Meanwhile, viruses and worms continue to take down organizations for days. In the following interview, I had the opportunity to talk with cyber security experts Ajay Gupta and Scott Laliberte about their latest book, Defend I.T.: Security by Example (Addison-Wesley, 0-321-19767-4). We discussed who is winning the cyber-security war and what some of the most overlooked security measures are. Read on for the rest of the story.
Tell me about your book.
Defend I.T. is a collection of case studies from our experiences in the field. These case studies are representative of the vast array of security consulting engagements we see in the computer security, forensics, and data privacy arena.
How is this book different from the vast majority of security books that are currently on the market?
It consists entirely of case studies, which is different. Topics range from war dialing, wireless security, computer viruses, computer forensics, HIPAA assessment, and social engineering. People tend to relate better and comprehend more when issues are presented as real-life examples.
Why did you write this book?
When writing Hack I.T., the single most consistent recommendation from our reviewers was for more case studies. We thought of writing a book strictly on case studies, and providing the entire view: what was in place before, the issue at hand, what was done in response, and what may have been done differently to avoid the situation.
Information security is a challenging area. Organizations face security issues every day, but due to the need for confidentiality around these issues they're reluctant to share lessons learned with their peers and other organizations. This book fills a need. We are providing the lessons learned in an anonymous fashion so readerscan benefit from our experience as well as the experience of other organizations.
How is it most relevant to the security community and/or Linux community?
Defend I.T. attempts to illustrate the breadth and scope of knowledge a security consultant should have - covering both the technical and soft skills necessary to be successful in the field.
As we stated earlier the book provides perspective and advice on real-life security issues many organizations are struggling with. Whether the OS is Linux or Windows-based, the issues are similar. The cases cover many OSs and issues your readers would be dealing with.
How can this book help my business/why should I buy it?
It allows businesses to learn from the mistakes - and successes - of other organizations' responses to (commonly occurring) security incidents.
It's apparent that security "incidents" are occurring all the time. Each day you can see a new headline highlighting the latest incident that has occurred. The CERT Coordination Center reported that for the year 2003 there were 138,000 incidents, a 68% increase in the number of incidents reported in 2002 (82,000 incidents) and over six times the 21,000 incidents reported in 2000.
Who has the upper hand these days, hackers or IT professionals? Who is winning the war?
That's a difficult question to answer. Awareness is going up and more organizations are starting to spend money to improve security. Often we're seeing organizations throwing money and software products at security problems without having the strategy, procedures, or expertise to properly and effectively use them. The security community has come a long way, but so have the attackers. The attacks are constantly evolving and respond to each improvement in security. It's too early to tell who's winning.
What are some of the most overlooked security measures?
Strategy and procedures - organizations throw money and security products at security problems without the proper planning or the expertise to best leverage their investment. Also, password strength (or the lack of strength in their passwords) continues to be overlooked.
Companies are getting better at updating their antivirus software and running virus scans on a daily basis; however, given the increasing frequency and severity of viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and malicious code, this is an area that demands constant vigilance. Related to this point, most companies allow HMTL-enabled e-mails onto their e-mail servers. Malicious code is often coded right into the HTML and simply opening the e-mail can execute and launch a virus. Firms may want to look at going to text-only e-mails for added security.
About Ajay Gupta and Scott Laliberte
Ajay Gupta, CISSP, founder, and president of Gsecurity, is an expert on cyber security, secure architecture, and information privacy. Gsecurity provides cyber security and data privacy services to federal, state, and local governments, as well as commercial clients in the educational, financial, and health-care sectors.
Scott Laliberte is one of the leaders of Protiviti's Global Information Security Practice. He has extensive experience in the areas of information systems security, network operations, incident response, and eCommerce.
Ajay and Scott are also coauthors of Hack I.T. - Security Through Penetration Testing (Addison-Wesley, 0-201-71956-8)
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 16, 2017 05:30 AM EST Reads: 1,046
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Jan. 16, 2017 04:30 AM EST Reads: 4,464
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Jan. 16, 2017 03:30 AM EST Reads: 2,825
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
Jan. 16, 2017 03:30 AM EST Reads: 5,203
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of C...
Jan. 16, 2017 03:15 AM EST Reads: 5,707
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Jan. 16, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 3,892
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Jan. 16, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 2,646
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Jan. 16, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 4,142
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Jan. 16, 2017 12:00 AM EST Reads: 4,748
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 15, 2017 10:15 PM EST Reads: 3,483
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Jan. 15, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 7,376
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jan. 15, 2017 07:00 PM EST Reads: 6,125
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Jan. 15, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 4,775
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, discussed how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy applica...
Jan. 15, 2017 04:15 PM EST Reads: 1,920
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
Jan. 15, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,690
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 15, 2017 12:30 PM EST Reads: 3,565
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 15, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 5,380
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 15, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 4,960
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
Jan. 15, 2017 11:15 AM EST Reads: 5,645
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Jan. 15, 2017 11:15 AM EST Reads: 1,834